Sacrifice of Praise

“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.” (Psalms 89:15)

 

On Sunday, my twin and I spent the entire day on a stretcher in the emergency room. Multiple sclerosis decided to throw a punch.

I was so afraid that my sister was having a relapse.

So afraid of disappointment and discouragement. So afraid that when we thought we might have beat this thing, it would come back to taunt us.

So afraid.

doublemint_gumIt’s difficult to describe how close our relationship is, except to say that we have shared everything –our mother’s uterus, clothes, eyeglasses, secrets and dreams, Doublemint gum.

In grade school, I fought the world’s scariest bully because she dared to put my sister’s head under the playground merry-go-round… while it was spinning. I was proud to say I got beat up defending my sister’s honor. I would do just about anything to protect her, and even more to see her smile. It is incredibly hard for me now to see her struggle with pain. It kills me to be so helpless.

 

Her husband was out of town, and I knew we needed to go to the hospital. I thought I was going to be a basket case. I had myself one good cry, and she did, too.  And then she was, as she always is, beautiful and strong.

Now, several days later, the pain and discomfort for my sister remain. Simple things like walking, standing on her toes, putting weight on her heels, writing with her left hand are difficult.

We still believe in the power of God to mend.

 

This morning I was driving my friend, Deb, into Boston for her infusion. She is a patient at the same clinic as my sister, and she was telling me about her on-going battle with MS. Her voice was hoarse: “When I was in rehab all those months and could not walk, it was really, really hard. But you know what? I never lost my praise.”

Praise. To commend, to applaud or magnify. To worship and adore, lift up and glorify the Lord, the only One who is worthy. In the midst of the storm, in spite of the storm… Praise.

I never lost my praise, she said.

My sister and I say in unison (people always think it’s cool when twins say something in unison):

Me neither.

  

Strengthen the feeble hands,
     steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
     “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come…
     he will come to save you.” 

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
     and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
     and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
     and streams in the desert.

Isaiah 35:3-6

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22 thoughts on “Sacrifice of Praise

  1. And again I say PRAY.
    You are so Blessed to have each other.
    The other half of you
    satan has NO VICTORY here.
    Prayer and Praise will PREVAIL.
    Love you both.
    Gramma

  2. Jeneil, what a precious blessing you and your sister are to one another. Just this morning, the enemy was harassing me, and I, too, DETERMINED to press through and choose praise. Praise was my deliberate choice, and the Lord led me to Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me … the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (verses 1-3).

    He also led me to Psalm 64:1, 94:19, 139:23; Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7 … and oodles more. Four hours later, I’m just looking up. (Ha! No pun intended … really. 🙂 )

    It’s so encouraging to see the loyalty between you and your sister, to remember the faithfulness of our God, and to know that we’re all pressing through together.

    “As iron sharpens iron …” (Proverbs 27:17).
    😀

  3. Sending warm thoughts and prayers your direction, what an amazing relationship you have with your twin. I secretly always wanted to be a twin so I could experience that special bond.

  4. My heart sank with your first sentence. It is so difficult when we cannot take away the physical pain and struggles of those we love. She could not ask for a more loving, devoted, or inspiring sister though! “Two are better than one…” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)

    I loved the visual of your taking on the bully for your sister too! That’s how sisters should be! 😉

  5. Prayers for your sister. What a special relationship you have.

    Love the bully story. No wonder you are a great mom for Rhema and Hope.

  6. I am always looking for blogs of people who have children with special needs, since my son has issues. I found yours, and am sorry to hear about your sister. I will definitely keep her and you in my prayers.

  7. “Perfect Love Cast Out All Fear” What an incredible gift you both have…each other. It is amazing what the power of love and encouragement can do in our lives. May God’s blessing be abundant for you both!

  8. Oh yes! You know I’m praying for each of you. Praise just has so many benefits: it blesses God’s heart; it lifts our hearts; Satan cannot stand it or stand in the face of it… because it irks him that it is the thing that he coveted the most and got him “fired” from heaven. He hates the sound of praise, so let’s turn up the volume, and he will have to exit promptly stage left!

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